The ROI Revolution Blog

Three Lessons from Intel’s SEM Success

July 15, 2014

Intel.pngIn June of this year, Google released a case study detailing Intel’s success with brand building via AdWords. I found this a little odd, since most businesses involved in search engine marketing tend to view branding as a “side effect” or secondary pursuit at best. This is especially true for retailers on the whole.

So it was very interesting to learn that Intel has actually been using search engine marketing as a key part of their brand strategy over the last decade–and with great success. While branding via AdWords certainly isn’t successful for every business model, I believe there are still some golden nuggets in this case study for anyone using AdWords. That’s why today, I’ll be sharing three lessons you can learn from Intel’s success to apply to your own AdWords campaign.


#1. Yes, You Can Use AdWords for Branding. While AdWords is generally most successful as a direct response tool, some companies have seen great success in using AdWords for branding purposes. This approach is not for everybody, but it may very well behoove you to experiment on the side with your own branding campaigns and see if this is something that can work for your business. B2B establishments or B2C retailers with luxury items and/or a long sales funnel may find this particularly useful.To get your creative juices flowing, here are some of the ways Intel used paid search brand marketing to their advantage:

  • Targeting (via keyword) and answering common questions from users via search ads.
  • Driving traffic from ads to timely and relevant brand content (instead of home page).
  • Gaining mindshare by showing ads on relevant product searches (ie, the Ultrabook)

#2. You Need Good Data to Get Good Results. Intel uses specific web action goals to track their brand impact and manage ROI for their AdWords campaigns. This is important for any marketer, whether their campaign is branding or direct marketing. But if your primary goal is not conversions–or if a “conversion” for your business is hard to track in the traditional sense–you will want to carefully select actions that you can quantify in Analytics and AdWords. Analytics makes this easy, as you can set specific, custom goals to track. So take the time to do this, as it is a vital step to a profitable branding or lead-gen campaign, as well as retail sales funnels. You’ll need this data in order to profitably and efficiently manage your branding or ecommerce campaign.

Intel also gained a lot of value by using AdWords and Analytics for invaluable insights into their market, and so can you. From a search terms report that can help you get inside the mind of your audience, to insights on user engagement, to providing a relatively inexpensive way to test new branding or promotional messaging, your AdWords account is rich with data that can be mined for many marketing purposes.

#3. An Organized Campaign is an Effective Campaign. Intel’s approach was to divide and conquer by crafting a categorized and comprehensive strategy to keywords and content. This demonstrates an important fact, regardless of your industry: an organized keyword strategy will help you create a lean, mean ROI machine. In Intel’s case, they set different goals and content approaches for various keyword themes, such as:

  • “Branded” keywords (“Intel Ultrabook”) that directed to consumer-friendly campaign pages.
  • “Category” keywords (“tablets” or “2 in 1″) that provide product info or specs for products that feature Intel technology.
  • “Affinity” keywords (“what is big data”) that are targeted towards the business IT community and direct to relevant B2B content.

And this comes from just a brief report on one company’s success story. There are hundreds of ways to creatively use Google AdWords to effectively market your product, online store, physical store, service or brand message–and you can be sure that we here at ROI Revolution will be keeping an eye out for the best of these ideas, to bring them to you.

Want to start optimizing your AdWords account today? Download AdWords Default Settings That Kill Retailer Profitability–an exclusive report with 10 simple questions to help you quickly improve your profitability in AdWords.

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